To the Cloud and Back: How Online Accounting Software Can Benefit Your Small Business
Small-business owners are beginning to understand how online accounting might impact their companies in the future. Several ongoing trends underscore the need to transition to online accounting; here are three to consider as you determine your next accounting step:
1. Business is Expanding Beyond the Office
Many in today’s workforce operate outside the traditional office environment. Whether you call them remote employees, telecommuters, or virtual teams, you may have many employees considered to be mobile in some regard.
But while telecommuting is expected to rise in the coming years, accounting requirements remain the same. With online accounting, tracking expenses is as simple as uploading a digital receipt to an app or taking a picture of a hard copy receipt. No more handing over boxes of crumpled receipts to the accounting department!
2. Information Security is Becoming a Top Concern
The ubiquitous availability of information has been seen as a blessing and a curse. Though far more convenient, the prospect of cloud accounting has left some small-business owners feeling vulnerable due to more recent news reports of corporate security breaches and data hacking. In response, many small-business owners are cracking down on security and taking preventative steps to avoid information loss. Depending on the online accounting solution you choose, the cloud can offer enhanced security (in the form of firewalls and encryption services). As an extra level of support, backups are oftentimes automatic.
3. Technologies are Moving to the Cloud — For Good Reason
More businesses are adopting software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology; according to Forbes, the cloud market is predicted to surpass $250 billion by 2017. Looking to this trend could help you gain an advantage in the industry.
The benefits of moving your accounting processes to the cloud are many. The cloud allows you to store and access information from many devices and locations. Plus, installations are as easy as downloading an app, and updates are automatic.
Choosing the Right Accounting Program for Your Business
If you are unsure about which online accounting solution to purchase, first decide which features are necessary for your business. A user-friendly design should be high on the list — a simple design will make it easier to collaborate with mobile coworkers and your accountant. Also consider other features such as automatic data backup, cross-platform compatibility, and security levels. Other points to consider include contractual obligations and customer service options.
With business trends pointing to increased mobility, paperless accounting, simplified reports, and cloud data storage, investing in an online accounting solution today could very well help your small business prosper in the future.